Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, called Catherine the Great, reigned as Empress of Russia for 34 years, from 9 July [O.S. 28 June] 1762 until her death. Marrying into the Russian Imperial family, she came to power with the deposition of her husband Peter III and then presided over a significant period of growth in Russian influence and culture. She exemplified the enlightened despot of her era.